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Winterbottom Reshuffle Suits Buffering: Heathcote
Robert Heathcote, the trainer of star sprinter Buffering, has welcomed the decision of Perth Racing to move the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) to its own day as part of a revamped Ascot spring carnival, reports the West Australian. Heathcote confirmed that Buffering, a dual winner of the Winterbottom Stakes, will bid for a third success in the $1 million feature as part of a three-race spring/summer programme he has planned for the evergreen sprinter. Buffering's other primary targets will be the Gr1 Moir Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne and the Magic Millions Plate (1200m) at the Gold Coast. "The new day for the Winterbottom fits into our plans," Heathcote said. "We have had two wonderful trips across to Perth and the Winterbottom is one of our three target races." Heathcote added: "I am not going to worry about the Darley or the Manikato this year and will keep him fresh. He may have a couple of other runs in the second-tier races like the Schillaci. We've got plenty of time to trim him down to his fighting weight." Buffering pulled up lame in his off foreleg and with blood in his windpipe after finishing last in last month's Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m) in Hong Kong. He is due to be released from quarantine on Saturday.